People to Watch Class of 2015
Photographed by Jeffery Johnston
Associate Director, Southern Food and Beverage Museum
This month marks a year since the Southern Food and Beverage Museum on Oretha C. Haley Boulevard opened its doors last September.
“This year has been all about settling in, setting up protocols for all of the new things we have to deal with, like rentals and demonstrations, and continuing to refine our exhibits,” says Kelsey Parris. “Every day brings a new challenge, whether it’s figuring out how to squeeze 19 bartenders into the museum for our big cocktail event or diving into South Carolina’s liquor laws and figuring out how to make that an interesting exhibit label.”
Parris says her role managing the day-to-day operations of the museum is a dream come true.
“I remember when [the museum] opened in 2008 in the Riverwalk and I spent hours on the website, trying to figure out how I could be hired or even volunteer my time with SoFAB,” she says. “I ended up finding an internship with the museum through Tulane’s public service program.
She says she’s driven by how something simple, like food, can say so much about a person’s culture and history.
“I would love for our museum and our entire organization to be the foremost authority on food history and culture,” she says, “not just in the South, but everywhere.”